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Mayor Purzycki Issues Proclamation Honoring Wilmington
Blue Bombers Pro Basketball Team

March 23, 2023

The mayor designates March 24, 2023, as “Wilmington Blue Bombers Day” as the Delaware Blue Coats begin their playoff run on Friday
Mayor Mike Purzycki today issued the following Proclamation honoring Delaware’s first professional basketball team, the Wilmington Blue Bombers, and the mark they have left on sports history in the First State. The recognition comes as the Delaware Blue Coats [], the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, prepare for their first playoff game of the 2022-23 season. The Blue Coats, featuring Louis King and 2023 NBA Slam Dunk champion Mac McClung, will host a Wilmington Blue Bombers Tribute Night [] tomorrow at the Chase Field House, which will feature former Blue Bomber players and others associated with the team.




WHEREAS, the game of basketball has a long and accomplished history in Wilmington, a City with a strong sports tradition at all levels; and

WHEREAS, the Wilmington Blue Bombers were Delaware’s first professional basketball team, from 1941 to 1947 in the American Basketball League, and winners of two ABL Championships in 1942 and 1944; and

WHEREAS, the Blue Bombers were revived in 1963 under owner Bill Kauffman and played in the Eastern Professional Basketball League until 1971, preparing many players for promotion to the NBA; and

WHEREAS, the new Blue Bombers played their first game on November 24, 1963, against the Sunbury Mercuries, and went on to win back-to-back league titles in 1966 and 1967 before playing their final game on April 4, 1971, defeating the Trenton Pat Pavers 146-130; and

WHEREAS, the Blue Bombers often packed the gymnasiums of Salesianum School (1963-70) and St. Marks High School (1970-71) on weekends with avid basketball fans eager to cheer on players such as Nate Cloud, Maurice McHartley, Bob Lewis, and Eastern Professional Basketball League 1969-70 MVP Waite Bellamy.
Mayor of the City of Wilmington, Delaware, do hereby proclaim
Thursday, March 24, 2023, as

Wilmington Blue Bombers Day

in Wilmington and encourage all basketball lovers from around the region to reflect on the rich history of the Blue Bombers, who cemented their legacy as part of Delaware sports lore and as predecessors to our beloved Blue Coats, the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.